Don’t Just Buy Them the Toolbox…….Fill It Up with Tools!

Many dealership management today when asked if they have a training program will say yes. In my working with dealers around the country, I have found when you take a deep dive it consists of a random amount of videos to watch, the factory sponsored online training, and managers desperately trying to fill up a calendar week of activities for the new hires.

One key ingredient being overlooked is the crucial 3-4 week period of a new hire to the automotive industry faces. Many of the new hires have had jobs that were salary based, had a set amount in pay coming to them for the family to bank on, and at this crucial time, they realize the house note & other bills are going to be there for them on the 1st of the month.

All of this is happening while the family gets used to the “new hours “and commitment they have made being away from them. Soon, they equate it to “is this going to create more money for us”, and when the first few weeks are not meeting the expectations, they panic.

A guest speaker at a mandatory meeting the managers have to attend will talk about “ongoing training”, and the group will agree. Once they get back to the dealership, I often wonder how this is implemented.

Some actions to insure you keep your personnel, get them trained properly, and have a successful process to bring in new people into the automotive industry:

1) Look at your past year’s worth of employees who have been hired. How have they done? How many are now not at your dealership anymore? What is the average timeframe they stayed? How many do you have that left in the first 90-120 days of the job? (Trend this information, and share in management meetings.)

2) Track exactly what it costs the dealership to hire someone and they are at your store for one year. Insure all managers know the “lost expense” of losing a new hire. (Investment in each employee)

3) Have a game plan for the first month’s activities and beyond. Ask the people who went through it, what could we do differently, and incorporate some of your top people to be involved in “mentoring” the new hires.

Lastly, remember that all of us were new at one time in the car business. All of us need support, and help when starting something different. Have your management staff does individual meetings with the new hires several times a week to insure they are not getting frustrated with the progress or the other obstacles in their way.

We all know we need new people in the car business. We attend seminars and workshops about it. We in most cases agree with the speakers………how is your team actually implementing this crucial area?

Have you inspected your dealership’s toolbox for new hires? What is in it, and how is it implemented?

The winners will be those teams that can transition new blood into the dealership, collect their ideas, and use them. Your team will win every time if this happens.